Medical Supplies for Survival

When things get difficult due to a catastrophe or disaster, medical supplies become much more important due to the limited availability of professional medical assistance. Having the necessary prepper medical supplies available may increase the likelihood of staying healthy and recovering from injuries without lasting effects. 

Collecting prep medic gear is not as difficult as one might think, as long as it is collected before there is a need for it. Both commercial and natural remedies are useful – traditional remedies can be supplemented by natural remedies to beef up a medical kit for survival. 

For Wounds

  • Aloe vera – in case of burns.
  • Antibiotics, oral – while it may be difficult to obtain a course of commercial oral antibiotics to store, there are natural options that can be very useful. These include garlic, raw local honey, cayenne pepper, thyme oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and ginger. Immune support herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, and myrrh may also be useful against infection. 
  • Antibiotic ointment – triple antibiotic ointment keeps a long time. Natural salves made with calendula, tea tree, or lavender oils or the application of raw local honey are also good options.
  • Bandages, sticky – having a selection of bandage sizes including butterfly style, spot, and knuckle along with the standard strips will be sufficient to cover small cuts and lacerations. 
  • Bandages, support – three or four Ace-style bandages should be included in a medical supplies kit in case of twisted ankles or other joints needing support.
  • Clamp, curved Kelley – if a foreign object becomes embedded, this is the best device for removing it.
  • Cotton, balls and swabs – using cotton for applying ointment and other liquids limit waste.
  • Dental kit – in case of tooth issues, a dental kit can provide relief until a professional can be found. Include toothpicks, a mirror, temporary filling, and tiny cups for mixing the filling. General oral hygiene supplies such as brushes and paste – either store bought or homemade – can prevent the need for the other parts. Baking soda is an inexpensive way to brush teeth; adding hydrogen peroxide and a couple drops of peppermint oil turn it into a freshening paste. Clove oil (referred to as eugenol in commercial preparations) has a numbing effect on tooth pain when applied topically.
  • Dressings, sterile and non-sterile – gauze of all types and the cloth tape to hold them in place should be included. Be sure to have at least some of the type that will not stick to wounds. Also include an ointment that will prevent sticking to other gauze. These should include sizes from 4×4 up to 10×30. 
  • Ear oil – garlic oil, warmed, in an affected ear will clear it up in a few days of applying up to three times daily.
  • Eye wash – include the wash, a cup, extra water, and an eye patch. 
  • Flashlight, pen-style – a small light will aid in seeing the areas that need attention when the ambient light is not enough.
  • Gel packs – these can be used to cool or heat an area, and are reusable. 
  • Gloves, both sterile and not – to protect both the medic and the victim during treatment, as well as for protection in other situations. 
  • Glue – dermabond (prescription) or superglue can be used to close cuts. Superglue may burn the skin, but it will hold in a pinch. Many ERs use superglue for minor lacerations that might otherwise need a stitch or two. 
  • Magnifying glass – useful for seeing tiny things, especially for the older people in the group. 
  • Needles and thread – in case of larger cuts, having needles with 2-0 nylon to close them up may be required. 
  • Pins, safety – large safety pins such as were once used for diapers can be used to hold other things, as needed.
  • Scissors – solid metal scissors of the type found meant for fabric are best, as they are less likely to break and they can be sharpened if needed. 
  • Snake bite kit – if the area is known to have venomous snakes, a snake-bite kit may be a good idea.
  • Tape – used for holding dressings and in other situations, a variety of tape should be included. Because the medical tape sometimes causes allergic reactions, having other types may be necessary. Types of tape for the medical kit to consider are duct tape, cellophane tape, and even paper tape. 
  • Tourniquet – in case of major injury causing severe bleeding, a tourniquet can save a life. However, be sure to understand the proper use, as improper use can cause as much damage as it prevents.
  • Tweezers – for removing splinters and doing other small work.
  • Wipes – both sanitizing and plain, plus some alcohol and antibacterial, and some betadine wipes; these can be used for a variety of cleaning needs, from wounds to hands to surfaces.

For Illness

  • Anti-diarrheal – having the runs is bad enough in normal situations, but in an emergency, it is inconvenient and uncomfortable. 
  • Antihistamine, oral and ointment – in case of allergic reactions, include both oral versions such as Benedryl and Claritin as well as a cream version for rashes. Hydrocortisone cream may be better for some rashes, depending on their cause, and should also be included. If any of the household have severe allergies, including an epipen may be crucial.
  • Decongestant – the commercial pseudoephedrine or the natural eucalyptus are both excellent decongestants. 
  • Masks, surgical and N95 – the surgical masks can be worn by sick people to prevent spreading illness, and the N95s can be worn by healthy people providing medical aid to prevent contracting disease. 
  • Multivitamins – to boost the immune system and prevent some general colds and illnesses.
  • Pain relievers – such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. Natural options include eucalyptus, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, and marjoram essential oils.
Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Monoki First Aid Kit Survival Kit, 241Pcs Upgraded Outdoor Emergency Survival Kit Gear - Medical Supplies Trauma Bag Safety First Aid Kit for Home Office Car Boat Camping Hiking Hunting Adventures
EVERLIT 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit IFAK Molle System Compatible Outdoor Gear Emergency Kits Trauma Bag for Camping Boat Hunting Hiking Home Car Earthquake and Adventures
Emergency Survival Kit, 151 Pcs Survival Gear First Aid Kit, Outdoor Trauma Bag with Tactical Flashlight Knife Pliers Pen Blanket Bracelets Compass for Camping Earthquake or Adventures
U.S. Army First Aid Manual (US Army Survival)

 

Resources

A basic first aid kit can be purchased, but remember that individuals and situations are different, so use a pre-filled kit as a starter and add components that suit the household.

Emergency Survival Kit, 241 Pieces

This multipurpose kit includes supplies for all types of emergencies in a bright red waterproof and shock-resistant case. Tools such as pliers, knife, whistle, compass, saw, and flashlight are accompanied by gloves, alcohol wipes, bandages, gauze, and a variety of other useful things. 

Survival First Aid Kit, 250 Pieces

Packed with bandages, tools, and all the basics, this Molle-compatible kit is field tested and ready to offer survival equipment in many different circumstances. Water-resistant nylon houses three compartments with space for personal gear as well.

Emergency Survival Kit, 151 Pieces

This first aid survival kit comes in a nylon backpack that holds 74 pieces of gear and 66 pieces of medical supplies along with a few fishing tools. Tactical survival tools and gear offer the means to keep warm, make shelter, cut wood, and many other things. 

U.S. Army First Aid Manual

All of the gear and prepper medical supplies in the world will not help someone who does not know how to use them. This paperback book explains the proper way to treat a wide variety of injuries and illnesses.